The Secret of Secrets

Dan Brown

Lesson time 02:57 min

Dan provides parting words of wisdom and encouragement and reveals the never-before-seen artifact he promised to share in the first lesson of his class.

Dan Brown
Teaches Writing Thrillers
In his first-ever online class, best-selling author Dan Brown teaches you his step-by-step process for turning ideas into page-turning novels.
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At the beginning of this MasterClass, I made a promise to you. I told you that I would admit something to you that I had never admitted to anyone, and that I would show you an artifact that only I had seen. And of course, we know how important keeping promises is to the storytelling process. So I want to do that now. After I wrote "The Da Vinci Code" and it became so popular, I sat down to write my next novel. And I very quickly discovered that it was much harder than I thought to write when you know that a lot of people are going to read what you've written. It turned out to be a six-year process. And about three years into it, I was really questioning whether or not I could do it. And I decided to try to trick myself into believing that I had already written the book. And I thought this book was going to be called "The Secret of Secrets." And so what I did is I actually created the book. I created an artifact right here, "The Secret of Secrets." What this book is, I'm not even sure what book it is. I just stuck a fake cover on the front of this. I made this on my computer. And every morning, I would sit down and I would hold this book, and I would say, well, I can feel the weight of the book. I can see the book. It actually already exists. All I have to do is write it. And as a little bit of extra impetus, a little bit of extra enthusiasm, I printed a copy of the New York Times bestseller list. And I photoshopped "The Secret of Secrets" into the number one spot trying to convince myself that the book had already been written, had already been published, and was already successful. This was just a trick to get me through that really tough time in writing a novel. And the reason I'm telling you this is that writing a novel is an enormous undertaking, and self-doubt will be part of that process. There will be days you just don't know if you can do it. And on those dates, what is going to save you is your process, your ritual. So if you're just starting to write a novel, go create that process. Go create that ritual. And if you are in the middle of a novel right now, recommit to that ritual. And I wish you the very best of luck.

Craft page-turning suspense

Packed with secret symbols and high-stakes suspense, Dan Brown’s thrillers have sold more than 250 million copies and include one of the world’s best-selling novels, The Da Vinci Code. In his writing class, Dan unveils his step-by-step process for turning ideas into gripping narratives. Learn his methods for researching like a pro, crafting characters, and sustaining suspense all the way to a dramatic surprise ending.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Dan was incredibly helpful with his process and realistic expectations for writing. I feel like I'm able to create tension much more easily now.

I highly recommend Crucible Incantation Red Wine, thought I can't say I've tried it myself.

Dan Brown is a great teacher and master communicator. I have learn so many useful tools in this class that I'm beyond inspired. Thanks

To trust my process and to commit to what I do with confidence. Thanks to the secret of secrets :) Marina


Anwaar S.

Registering for this class was a right choice. I learned more about the storytelling process and feel motivated to continue writing my stories. Thank you so much for sharing valuable information!

A fellow student

Thank you very much Mr Brown. Excellent masterclass thoroughly enjoyed it.

A fellow student

The master, Dan Brown, kept us in suspense until the very end. Loved the class, Dan. You are unselfishly sharing the truth about your writing. Thank you.


This was fabulous. He gives a dose of reality. It's not easy. It will be hard, but keep trying and eventually it may pay off.

A fellow student

This will be a guidepost. I will definitely be informing some others I know to look into this specific class. Loved it, Dan Brown. Thank you.

Valerie R.

This was an awesome class. I will definitely revisit it. Thank you for your inspiration.

Roselyn T.

This was a spectacular class. Dan Brown was articulate, engaging, and humble. His tips were practical and inspirational. I took 4 pages of notes, and am ready to go. Thank you, Dan Brown!

Barbara R.

What an incredible series...I'm going to watch it all over. All of my questions about tense, characters, worlds, process were answered. It's exactly what I needed. Thank you so much Mr. Brown.

Dusk Z.

DRUG OF CHOICE John Lange "The beginnin of modern science is also the beginning of calamity" Karl Jaspers "Give me librium or give me meth!" Anon. "Shall I tell you what knowl- edge is? It is to know both what one knows and what one does not know." SAYING OF CONFUCIUS The cop, positioned at the intersection of the Santa Ana Freeway and U.S. 85, saw it all. At three in the...

Peter E.

I have done several Masterclasses so far, and this is BY FAR the best one. Chock full of useful, practical tips as well as motivating. I’ve been debating embarking on a writing journey and this has convinced me to proceed. Even if it doesn’t sell, I will “write the book I would want to read”. Mr Brown, you are as engaging a speaker as you are a writer. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and passion.